Estuaries cop a big flushing
  |  First Published: May 2012

The Narooma region received upwards of 300mm of rain over the past month, making some sorts of fishing difficult in the short term. Overall, the rains are a necessity that will greatly improve the fishing, especially in the estuaries.

Every estuary needs a good flush and Tuross and Wagonga certainly got one. While the fishing was quiet for a few days at the height of the flood it has definitely improved since then.

Tuross is fishing great guns again with all species responding to a variety of techniques.

Bait fishos down towards the entrance on a draining tide have fared best with bream, flathead, flounder and some horse whiting captured.

Lightly weighted baits like nippers, tuna strips and fresh prawns have worked a treat and anglers using live poddy mullet have been catching some stonker flathead.

Those who like throwing plastics are still catching plenty. We've managed a handful of croc flathead over 90cm lately with a few mulloway as well, though they have been smaller.

I expect this system to continue to fish well with the river section a good bet if EPs or bream are your quarries. Casting smaller soft plastics and hard-bods around the snags will see some results.

At Narooma it's still a little quiet on the flattie front but there's a stack of big salmon in the inlet.

They are good fun on light tackle and I've heard of some solid tailor to 2kg as well. Smaller chrome lures or soft stickbaits should produce results.

Good bream and trevally have been abundant in the channels east of the highway bridge.

The bream will leave the system soon to spawn so if you’re after some, get down there soon.

On the rocks the swell has been up so those after blackfish, drummer and groper have done particularly well, mainly due to the increased whitewater around the safer ledges.

Cabbage and cunjevoi have been the gun baits. Use a little berley and watch your catch rates improve tenfold.

Those after pelagics like salmon, tailor, bonito and smaller kingfish have done well, even with the dirtier water.

As the water clears further, mackerel tuna and larger bonito are possible opponents.

I'd be fishing the Golf Course rocks in town or Mystery Bay to the south of Narooma. Every Autumn some solid tuna get caught from this under-rated ledge.


On the beaches the fishing is awesome, to say the least. Local beach guide Jack Dart has been smacking them with clients sometimes having 50-fish sessions.

There's been a solid mixture of bream, whiting, salmon, tailor and the odd lost mulloway. Jack says live beach worms have been the goods for bream and whiting, with pilchards and mullet strips ideal for the sambos, tailor and bream.

Most beaches with a half-decent gutter are producing with Tilba, Brou and Coila all worth a look.

I can't see this action slowing down at all. If you’re new to beach fishing, give Jack a call and he'll point you in the right direction.

Outside sport fishers have had it good for months now and the scene continues to fire.


At Montague Island the kingfish have been red-hot, succumbing to a variety of methods.

Live bait and jigs have worked a treat although the bigger fish have been falling to the livies.

The kings can be found on the western side of the island and at times down south around Auginish Rock, especially when the current has slowed or going north.

This month you can live-bait the north end, with May traditionally producing a few hoodlums upwards of 20kg. The only problem is the seals – they are thick at present and can certainly do your head in with lost fish.

If kings aren't your go then the bottom fishing is excellent. Snapper, morwong, flathead and pigfish are all there with most reefs holding fish.

The flathead grounds in close off Dalmeny have been good; depths around 40m are ideal.

Farther offshore it's tuna time, with yellowfin the ones everyone's after. There's been a smattering of 40kg-50kg fish caught by those trolling for marlin so putting in the time and effort to target these brutes will pay dividends.

We quite often troll until we come across some good water, at all times looking at the sounder for fish holding down deep. When you hook up or see fish, stop there and cube straight away.

You won't always get the fish up but it's a better than 50% proposition most of the time.

Having a trickle of berley while cubing will help and have the wire ready because this month some big mako sharks will be on patrol.

With the yellowfin you can expect solid albacore to 25kg. These hard-fighting species are great on the plate and I don't tire of them.

There will be a few bigger striped marlin, too. May is when we see fish over 150kg so trolling for them is still certainly worth a go.

Switch-baiting will also work and I think is the best technique for marlin.

Those after a feed of blue-eye trevalla will find this month ideal. The current and conditions are usually conducive to fishing those depths over 300m where these tasty fish live.

An electric reel is ideal here as the work is done for you, it saves the back and a lot of time.

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